Car park charges will increase at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust from next week with improvements also being made to parking provision for staff and patients.
The trust contracted ParkingEye to introduce a new automatic number plate recognition system at all of its car parks – Lincoln, Boston and Grantham.
The new system will start at all of the trust’s hospital sites from Friday, November 23, which will also coincide with an increase in the cost of parking for patients and visitors by an average of 10p per hour.
The trust said the introduction of the new technology is in no way responsible for the increase.
The new ANPR system
The ParkingEye system looks similar to the CCTV cameras on the high street and captures the number plates of all vehicles entering and exiting the car parks.
Information captured by these cameras provides an accurate picture of how long a car stays.
Patients using the car parks should pay at the end of their stay at one of the payment kiosks using their vehicle registration number or via the Good2Go service, which is a web based automated payment system.
The kiosks can take payments via coins, notes, credit/debit card, contactless, Apple/Android pay. The kiosks can provide change.
Blue Badge holders will still be eligible for a parking concession by showing the picture portion of their blue badge to any reception area, where they will receive a concessionary barcode to redeem at any payment kiosk.
Any patients currently entitled to parking exemptions will continue to be eligible as part of the new system and should give their car registration number to reception as they book in for their appointment.
Parking charge notices are generated and issued to those motorists parked inappropriately or who are in breach of the terms and conditions, such as non-payment.
Money from the machines for car parking will be retained by the trust and used to cover the cost of providing car parking and security at its hospitals.
Director of Estates and Facilities at ULHT Paul Boocock said: “The Trust is currently experiencing significant financial pressures and has therefore taken the difficult decision to increase patient and public parking charges at our hospital sites.
“The cost of maintaining ULHT car parks continues to rise, so the decision to raise the prices was taken so we do not have to compromise or reduce investment in patient services.
“The increases are minimal and in line with local government rate rises, and still remain competitive and lower than most other NHS trusts in the region.
“We are committed to providing the very best care possible and hope our patients and visitors understand the reasoning behind these prices increases.”
Hospital parking scandal
As previously reported, new figures branded a scandal by unions revealed how NHS staff in Lincolnshire paid over £800,000 last year for hospital parking.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust (ULHT) made £845,703 from charges and penalty fees by NHS staff using parking across its sites.
That was in addition to the £1.785 million made from visitor and patient parking across Lincolnshire.